”Wike intends to muzzle the voices of workers, noting that the governor “sees himself as a demi-god”.-Rivers Labour union


Workers in Rivers have accused the governor, Nyesome Wike of been authoritarian and are set to embark on a peaceful protest as a way expressing their displeasure.

The workers decision was made public in a joint statement signed by Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Quari Olaleye, president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), in Abuja, on Thursday.

The labour leaders accused Wike of authoritarianism, industrial tyranny and state sponsored violence and terrorism against workers and citizens.

They said workers will embark on a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, on September 8, to draw attention to happenings in the state.

“This is to alert Nigerians to the birth of new progeny of authoritarianism, industrial tyranny and state sponsored violence and terrorism against workers and citizens by the Rivers State Government,” the statement read.

“The events of the past few weeks confirm to us and many right-thinking Nigerians that there is a full-fledged bloom of despotic rule in Rivers State under the administration and supervision of Mr. Nyesom Wike.”

Earlier, The NLC had condemened the closure of its state council secretariat in Rivers by the governor over a disagreement on the payment of the new national minimum wage.

It alleged that the attck on members of the NLC Rivers state executive council (SEC) a week ago was on the orders of the governor.

The union leaders also claim that  Wike intends to muzzle the voices of workers, noting that the governor “sees himself as a demi-god”.

They emphasised that Nigerian workers will not be cowed by the governor’s actions, adding that members of both congresses “will never succumb to his (Wike) scare tactics”.

“The attack on the leaders of the NLC in Rivers State on Thursday, 27th August, 2020, was only the tipping of a well calculated attempt by the Rivers State government to eviscerate, incarcerate and decimate the leadership of Labour in Rivers State. The grand design is to muzzle the voice of Rivers State workers who face a despicable industrial ordeal,” it read.

“Fellow citizens, Nigerian workers have never had it so bad under a state governor as Mr. Nyesom Wike who now sees himself as a demi-god. As the demi-god that he believes he is, Mr. Nyesom Wike has no scruples for the rule of law or basic standards of decency.

“He has arrogated and appropriated to himself the powers of both the executive, the judiciary, the legislative and the vicious powers of underground non-state operatives who openly identify themselves as thugs loyal to Mr. Wike.

“Nigerian workers are not cowed and will never be cowed by the cowardly actions of Mr. Nyesom Wike to cower our voices. Workers will never succumb to his scare tactics. We will continue to demand that the rights of our workers in the workplace, their safety, and the sanctity of their lives must be respected always both by government and private sector employers. We will never shirk from this sacred mandate.

“Nigerian workers under the aegis of NLC and TUC and our civil society allies in the discharge of our constitutional rights will embark on a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on September 8, 2020. The protest is to draw the attention of the world to the infractions on workers and trade union rights in Rivers State.”

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